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Fly Fishing Argentina

Fly Fishing for Freshwater Dorado in Northern Argentina

Pira Lodge - Rio Corrientes, Northern Argentina

Freshwater Dorado from Northern ArgentinaThe dorado is one of the most exciting and fun fish to be caught on a fly rod. My first time to experience this was ten years ago exploring this part of Argentina for potential fishing operations that offered dorado fishing. At that time accommodations were limited for easy access to the rivers, and guides were even scarcer. Now this dorado has become recognized by traveling anglers as one of the greatest fighting freshwater fish in the entire world. Articles are being written in American publications, and the popularity of the dorado is just beginning to emerge.

Dorados are exceptionally powerful swimmers. They typically range in size from 5 to 10 pounds, and 15 pounders plus are not uncommon. The dorado has the hunting habits of a trout as they will hold in water with structure such as sunken logs and undercut banks, and in the confluence of currents formed by islands.  They are voracious eaters and they feed primarily on a mullet- like fish called sabalo ranging from two inches to two pounds. They will happily smack a fly and once hooked they become airborne with head shaking jumps showing beautiful gold scales that glitter in the sun, thus giving them their name. They will eat big streamers, and are known to also take big surface flies like bombers and poppers when the conditions are right.  They are great acrobats and lots of fun to fight, as they are full of surprises.

The wild golden Salminus Maxillosus, or freshwater “Dorado” as it is known locally in Spanish are also know in Argentina as the “River Tiger” because of their strong jaws and sharp teeth, and for the challenging fight they put up once hooked.  While the dorado has long been admired in the southern portion of South America, it is almost completely unknown in the rest of the world.  The largest species, Salminus maxillosus, is found mainly in Argentina, Bolivia, Southern Brazil and Uruguay and Paraguay.  The scientific name is appropriate: Salminus, meaning salmon like, and Maxillosus, describing the fish’s powerful jaws. Outside of South America, the dorado suffers an identity crisis.  While the common name is similar, the dorado is a freshwater game fish and not to be confused with the saltwater dolphin fish called dorado in many Spanish-speaking countries.

Location

Pira (peer-a) Lodge is Argentina’s first truly upscale fishing lodge to target the freshwater dorado, fly fishing's most exciting new game fish. Located in Argentina's northern province of Corrientes, Pira enjoys a tropical climate throughout its long eight-month fishing season, which begins in September and runs through April. The lodge is located in the Ibera Marshland, one of the most unique and fascinating wetlands in the world.  It is teeming with wildlife, and the birdlife is incredible with a multitude of species to view. This vast wetland occupies more than 3,000,000 acres and offers the world's only possibility for dorado fishing in crystal-clear waters This reserve is larger then Yellowstone National Park!!

Pira was co-founded by the owners of the world-renowned sea-run brown trout lodge, Kau-Tapen. Over the years, Kau-Tapen has proved itself to be one of the world's top fishing lodges due to its excellence in cuisine, service and quality of its fishery. Pira has been modeled after Kau-Tapen, emphasizing these very same standards, and will rank among the most select fishing lodges around the world.  Similarly, Pira has its sights set on a fishery that has enormous potential, but has not yet been explored by the international sportsman. At the turn of the millennium, when quality fishing resources are hard enough to come by, it is tough to imagine that a brand-new, virtually unexplored area with such a fierce, yet undiscovered game fish could emerge with such promise and potential.

The lodge consists of five large rooms, each with private bath, two double-sized beds, air conditioning, and a gallery with a marsh-front view. It can accommodate up to 10 anglers.  A great swimming pool also allows for bathing in this sunny climate. The lodge was designed to respect the traditional, local architecture while offering all the comforts of a contemporary hotel.

The Fishing

The fishing from Pira is accessed by the use of Hells Bay flats skiffs that allow your guide to pick you up at the private dock of the lodge.  A typical day is like most great fishing destinations in Argentina with a morning departure, return for Tito and client with a Pira Lodge freshwater Doradoa delicious lunch, a siesta, and then back to fish for the evening with return to the comfort of the lodge, and a fine dinner to end your day.

Fishing is done with 7, 8, or 9 weight rods.  A rod of this size makes casting the traditionally large Dorado flies easier, or for turning a big fish out of a weed-bank.  A quality reel is important with a good drag. Dorado are know for their explosive runs.  Dorado are fished using floating and sinking line and very large streamers that we can have custom tied for you in Buenos Aires.  An equipment list will be sent upon making a reservation.  Pira is strictly a catch and release fishery. Guides are equipped with Boga grips and will assist guests in weighing and releasing fish.

 

Other Activities, Scenery & Wildlife

Unlike many remote fishing lodges, Pira offers much for the non-angler, including hours of horseback riding along the edge of the marsh, where they will see an endless variety of birds and wildlife in unspoiled habitat. You will have occasion to see a variety of fish (and catch) and also the most interesting denizen of the marshlands, the capybara, the largest rodent in the world, a very fascinating vegetarian that prefers to congregate in family groups.

This is not only a fishing trip, it is also a nature trip into an area of particular beauty far from the rest of the world. The marsh can be explored by canoe or sea-kayak, and sunbathing and relaxing by the inviting pool is a perfect way to unwind and enjoy the reliable, sunny weather. Temperatures will range from the 60’s to 90° Fahrenheit.  Whether you are an avid fisherman or a non- angler it is also a great place to just relax in a hammock, and enjoy this seldom-visited special location know as the “Mesopotamia” region of Argentina.

How To Get There
Pira Lodge is located approximately 400 miles north of Buenos Aires and can be reached by several means: overnight bus, comfortable and inexpensive, charter flight or commercial flight to Corrientes or Resistencia where guests will be personally met by a lodge representative and transported to the lodge. The commercial flight is approximately 1 1/2 hours from Buenos Aires and the lodge is a 3 1/2-hour drive from the airport.
Rates

Per-person Fishing Package Rate:

7-night/7-day $4,900 based on double occupancy, trips of less than a week stay can be arranged.

This rate includes boat/guide with two anglers; deluxe lodge accommodation (double occupancy); meals with wine, soft drinks at the lodge. This rate does not include your airfare or ground transporation from airports, gratuities to the guides, or laundry.  Any time spent in Buenos Aires is on your own and Guided Connections will be glad to help you out on making those plans. Non-fishing  rates are available. Pira offers much for the non-angler, including hours of horseback riding along the edge of the marsh, where they will see an endless variety of bird and wildlife in unspoiled habitat. The marsh can be explored by canoe or sea-kayak, and sunbathing and relaxing by the inviting pool is also a perfect way to unwind and enjoy the reliable, sunny weather.

Call us for more info: 307-734-2716

Patty Reilly & Tito with a nice freshwater dorado taken at Pira Lodge


Patty Reilly's
Guided Connections
PO Box 694
Wilson, WY 83014
 


Phone: 307-734-2448

info@guidedconnections.com
 

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